HAMMBURG—ViaSat sees its ViaSat2 Ka-band satellite entering service by the end of 2017, despite social unrest in French Guiana, which is delaying launches from Europe’s Kouru spaceport.

“French authorities are negotiating and we’re confident they will be able to resolve the situation quite quickly,” Don Buchman, ViaSat’s vice president of commercial mobility, told Aviation Daily at the Aircraft Interiors Expo here.

“There are other satellites scheduled to launch before us,” he said. “We are partnered with Eutelsat and were due to launch on April 25 [but] it has been confirmed that there will be a delay.”

Buchman said the company did not know how long that delay would be, but added: “We don’t think it will have a really big impact; we are confident we’ll have ViaSat2 in service by the end of the year.

“Arianespace [the launch service provider] is really working closely with the French authorities and communicating very well with us,” he said.

On potential new customers for ViaSat’s services, Buchman said:

“Momentum is really picking up; airlines want our product because it’s a little bit different.” ViaSat is already in operation with JetBlue, United, El Al and Virgin America (owned by Alaska Airlines). Buchman is hopeful that the service could be chosen for the rest of the Alaska Airlines fleet.

He said the company is constantly talking to other airlines and expects to sign up more customers soon.

The first Qantas aircraft equipped with ViaSat is in test flights. The company has also been selected by American, SAS and Finnair, Buchman said.